Around the Airport

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Why Our Leaders Fall Short?

Just like the members of every other group in the world, Average Joe and Jane Aviator spend a lot of time wondering why the leaders of their community never give 100%.  Most “executives” at the top say the things the group wants to hear, a large majority of them fly their own planes, and some of them seem to truly enjoy the sport, hobby, or profession they are tasked with heading.  So why then do they always seem to fall short on action and success?
I keep thinking about the search for AOPA’s latest president.  When word first came out about it there was a letter from the board that spoke about the kind of person they were looking for.   More specifically, there was one word in that communiqué that stood out; patriot.  AOPA was looking for a patriot.  Isn’t that interesting?
Of course, in today's politically charge world the word patriot is one of high amperage.  I’m sure it was chosen for that reason.  And yet, to ask for such a person to step forward without the offer of “cover” reveals the hollow nature in which it was used.  Without artillery to support a soldier’s advances, it’s makes their job akin to a suicide mission.  And that’s one reason I think we continue to get the talk without the walk.
Protection comes in many forms.
If AOPA, EAA, NBAA, or any of the other groups truly want a leader who’ll charge in and get things done, they’re going to have to offer that person protection.  But what form should they employee?  What could these groups offer a person to get them to put everything on the line?  Yes, everything?
Do you really believe you can put someone in charge of any of these groups if they are vulnerable and expect them to lead?  No, of course you can’t.  Could you expect a person who owned an aircraft modification shop that requires constant oversight and approvals from the FAA to step up and bloody the FAA’s nose?   What about a person who lives to fly?  Why would they get down in the dirt to fight user fees if the Feds are going to harass them and find a way, any way, to take their license?  You don’t think that could happen?  There has never been a time in the history of the United States where the government was so openly corrupt and abusive of power.  Do you really believe the FAA isn’t part of that?  And what if the person chosen to lead has been a successful business person and therefore has a few piles of money and multiple investments lying around?  Is the FAA above employing one of its fellow federal agencies to give them a bureaucratic kick to the groin?  The answers to these questions are uncomfortable aren’t they?  Now imagine you’re the leader of a group and you're employeed to attack these bastions of bureaucracy.  Without the insurance of cover, what would you do?
This begs the question, "What kind of insurance could a group could offer to get someone with teeth"?  A good start is a good paycheck as long as it has benchmarks tied to it that keep them from abusing the position.  Next, there should be contractual language that guarantees the best legal defenses possible to cover them for the ugly byproducts of the job; things such as political and bureaucratic blowback.  A “lost limbs” clause would also pay them for "losses" incurred by fighting for the group.  Combine these with incentives, which would reward them based on every good old fashioned knife fight won, and you might find yourself a winner.  At the very least, I'm guessing you might get a 90% effort in return.  Sure, it's not 100% but it's far greater than we've had in recent years. 

1 comment:

Ken Bittner said...

Rich,
Succinct (as always) and spot on!
I'm thinking it's time for you to step up to the plate and accept that "mantle of leadership"! You're the type of guy that could "get it done"!
I would even reinstate my membership in that alphabet group just so I could vote for you!